AB's Top Classic & Screwball Comedies:by abcj-2 | created - 22 Nov 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
Most of these wonderful gems are from the mid 1930's-1950's. I've included a few from the 60's that I love and an occasional Pre-Code film. Some are musical/comedies but heavy on the comedy. Enjoy, AB:)
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1. The Farmer's Daughter (1947)
Unrated | 97 min | Drama, Romance
Katie Holstrom leaves the farm to become a nurse, but is sidetracked into domestic service, romance, and politics.
I recorded this off TCM in January 2012 after waiting for years for it to play on TV (I believe it was the TCM premiere, but I might be mistaken). It's still not available on DVD which is a shame. They did replay it on TCM in Summer 2012, so hopefully it will be popular and remain on their regular rotation. Meanwhile, I DVR'd it and am not erasing it. It's definitely in my top 10 movies of all time along with The More the Merrier.
2. The More the Merrier (1943)
Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Romance, War
During the World War II housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.
3. The Awful Truth (1937)
Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Romance
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.
4. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.
8. Bachelor Mother (1939)
Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Romance
Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep ... See full summary »
9. Dear Heart (1964)
Unrated | 114 min | Comedy, Family
Single and alone, Evie arrives in New York for the annual Postmasters' convention. Staying at her hotel is a womanising salesman newly promoted to his marketing department and trying to ... See full summary »
10. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It's a lot more trouble than they think.
12. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Romance
A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.
13. That Touch of Mink (1962)
Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Romance
A rich businessman and a young woman are attracted to each other, but he only wants an affair while she wants to save her virginity for marriage.
Votes: 7,135 | Gross: $14.63M
14. Sunday in New York (1963)
Approved | 105 min | Comedy, Romance
Eileen is 22 and is smarting from her breakup with Russ. She comes to New York to visit her brother, Adam, who is an airline pilot. Eileen confides to her brother that she thinks she may be... See full summary »
15. Operation Petticoat (1959)
Approved | 124 min | Comedy, Romance, War
During World War II, a commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine, a con man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.
Votes: 10,194 | Gross: $23.30M
16. Father of the Bride (1950)
Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Romance
The father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, along with the financial and organizational trouble of arranging the wedding.
18. Little Women (1949)
Approved | 122 min | Drama, Family, Romance
The March sisters -- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy -- struggle to make ends meet in their New England household while their father is away fighting in the Civil War. Despite harsh times, they cling... See full summary »
22. Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
Approved | 112 min | Comedy, Family, Romance
A university professor leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends.
Votes: 3,316 | Gross: $11.10M
23. The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.
24. When Ladies Meet (1941)
Passed | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Mary, a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher. Her suitor Jimmy is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher's wife without ... See full summary »
25. The Swan (1956)
Approved | 104 min | Comedy, Romance, Drama
Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to ... See full summary »
26. It Started with Eve (1941)
Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
In order to please his dying father, a man convinces a hat-check girl to impersonate his fiancée, but complications arise when the father's health suddenly improves.
29. That Funny Feeling (1965)
Not Rated | 93 min | Comedy, Romance
Joan Howell, a young and pretty maid-for-hire, meets and begins dating wealthy New York City businessman Tom Milford. Embarrassed about bringing him back to her tiny apartment that she ... See full summary »
31. Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)
Approved | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in ... See full summary »
32. Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy, Romance
In this sequel to Father of the Bride (1950), newly married Kay Dunstan announces that she and her husband are going to have a baby, leaving her father having to come to grips with the fact that he will soon be a granddad.
34. Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
Unrated | 111 min | Comedy, Family
A widower with ten children falls for a widow with eight, and they must decide about forming a huge, unconventional family.
Votes: 6,462 | Gross: $25.91M
37. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.
42. Just This Once (1952)
Passed | 90 min | Comedy
Mark MacLene owes the IRS, the banks and others a lot of money. The problem is that his trust makes $1,000,000 a year, but he spends $150,000 every month. His trustee, Sam, uses the power ... See full summary »
43. Holiday for Lovers (1959)
Approved | 103 min | Comedy
When the oldest daughter decides to stay in South America while on a school tour, her father decides to take the rest of the family there for vacation to find out why.
44. Ball of Fire (1941)
Passed | 111 min | Comedy, Romance
A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.
45. Key to the City (1950)
Approved | 101 min | Comedy, Romance
At a mayors convention in San Francisco, ex-longshoreman Steve Fisk meets Clarissa Standish from New England. Fisk is mayor of "Puget City" and is proud of his rough and tumble background. ... See full summary »
46. It Should Happen to You (1954)
Approved | 86 min | Comedy, Romance
When her name is plastered on ten billboards all over New York City, a fame-seeker is bombarded by men from all over.
Votes: 2,648 | Gross: $1.40M
47. Sabrina (1954)
Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur, but it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.
48. Guys and Dolls (1955)
Approved | 150 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical
In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.
49. Carefree (1938)
Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend's girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.
50. Three Blind Mice (1938)
Approved | 75 min | Comedy
Three sisters take their small inheritance and move from Kansas to California in search of rich husbands. To start with Pamela poses as a socialite and Moira and Elizabeth pretend to be her... See full summary »
51. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
52. McLintock! (1963)
Approved | 127 min | Comedy, Romance, Western
Wealthy rancher G.W. McLintock uses his power and influence in the territory to keep the peace between farmers, ranchers, land-grabbers, Indians and corrupt government officials.
53. Princess O'Rourke (1943)
Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A pilot falls in love with a woman he believes is heading cross country to become a maid, little suspecting that she's actually a princess.
54. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.
Votes: 16,474 | Gross: $7.57M
55. Libeled Lady (1936)
Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Romance
A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.
56. Advance to the Rear (1964)
Approved | 100 min | Comedy, War, Western
A Union army outfit of misfits and rejects is sent to the Western territory. Southern spies try to figure out what they're up to.
57. The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951)
Approved | 103 min | Comedy, Romance
Marriage broker Mae Swasey, who somewhat cynically arranges her loser clients' affairs, meets model Kitty Bennett and can't resist meddling in her life, by disentangling her from a married ... See full summary »
59. Kathleen (1941)
Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance, Comedy
Kathleen is a 12 year old who lives in a big house with a nanny, a butler, maids, no mother and a father who is working most of the time. She dreams of a family with a mother, father and ... See full summary »
60. Presenting Lily Mars (1943)
Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »
61. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.
62. A Date with Judy (1948)
Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Developed from a radio program which began in 1941, hyperactive teenager Judy challenges and is challenged by her overly proper parents, pest of a brother Randolph and boyfriend Oogie.
63. Boys' Night Out (1962)
Unrated | 115 min | Comedy
Fred, George, Doug and Howie are quickly reaching middle-age. Three of them are married, only Fred is still a bachelor. They want something different than their ordinary marriages, children... See full summary »
65. Merrily We Live (1938)
Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Romance
Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »
66. The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Divorce lawyer Everard Logan thinks the woman who spent the night in his hotel room is the erring wife of his new client.
67. Man's Favorite Sport? (1964)
Approved | 120 min | Comedy, Romance
The author of a best-selling fishing guide is actually incredibly inexperienced when it comes to the sport, which causes mayhem when he is entered into a competition.
69. The Mating Game (1959)
Approved | 96 min | Comedy, Romance
An uptight IRS agent is ordered to investigate a rural family in debt to the government...but the family - including lovely daughter Mariette - help him loosen up.
72. A Woman of Distinction (1950)
85 min | Comedy
Ice-cold college dean Susan Middlecott feels there's no room in her life for romance. Enter Prof. Alec Stevenson, British lecturer on astronomy, touring North America and in possession of a... See full summary »
73. You Were Never Lovelier (1942)
Approved | 97 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
The Acunas, a rich Argentine family, have the tradition that the daughters have to get married in order, oldest first. When sister #1 gets married, sisters #3 and #4 put pressure on Maria, ... See full summary »
74. Father Goose (1964)
Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance
During World War II, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.
Votes: 8,052 | Gross: $12.50M
75. Bus Stop (1956)
Approved | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A naive but stubborn cowboy falls in love with a saloon singer and tries to take her away against her will to get married and live on his ranch in Montana.
79. Hatari! (1962)
Approved | 157 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A group of men trap wild animals in Africa and sell them to zoos before the arrival of a female wildlife photographer threatens to change their ways.
Votes: 9,923 | Gross: $14.00M
81. Latin Lovers (1953)
Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
Nora Taylor has $37,000,00 but thinks every man she meets prefers her bankbook figure to her own, and that include her current fiancé, Paul Chevron, who has $48,000,000 of his own. Paul ... See full summary »
82. My Man Godfrey (1957)
Unrated | 92 min | Comedy
The eccentric Bullock household again need a new butler. Daughter Irene encounters bedraggled Godfrey Godfrey at the docks and, fancying him and noticing his obviously good manners, gets ... See full summary »
83. Lover Come Back (1961)
Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A series of misunderstandings leaves an advertising executive with a campaign for a product which has not yet been invented, while he romances his rival in the guise of its inventor.
Votes: 5,432 | Gross: $16.94M
84. A Millionaire for Christy (1951)
Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Romance
This hilarious comedy gave MacMurray a chance to show his comedic chops as Peter, a radio personality who is told he's just inherited two million dollars by a gold-digging secretary.
86. Pillow to Post (1945)
Approved | 92 min | Comedy
With a war on and most men being drafted, Howard Oil Supply Company has no salesmen left. So daughter Jean hits the road and does not make one sale. She finally gets one tentative sale with... See full summary »
87. Let's Make Love (1960)
Passed | 119 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
Votes: 5,404 | Gross: $6.54M
88. The Hallelujah Trail (1965)
Approved | 165 min | Comedy, Western
On its way to Denver, a cargo of whiskey destined for the miners, is sought after by the Temperance League, the U.S. Cavalry, the local Indians and the miners themselves.
Votes: 2,842 | Gross: $4.00M
89. The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
Approved | 80 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.
90. The Devil's Disciple (1959)
Approved | 83 min | Comedy, History, Romance
The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.
91. Julia Misbehaves (1948)
Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Romance
1936. Julia Packett, a London chorus girl, is always in trouble financially, but she always seems to manage to land on her feet by using her feminine wiles to manipulate the men in her life... See full summary »
93. Pretty Baby (1950)
92 min | Comedy
A young working girl, trying to find a way to get a seat on the subway, takes along a baby doll to insure a way. She ends up getting stuck in a thick plot to sell an ad to a rich client who... See full summary »
95. Dreamboat (1952)
Approved | 83 min | Comedy
Thornton Sayre, a respected college professor, is plagued when his old movies are shown on TV and sets out with his daughter to stop it. However, his former co-star is the hostess of the TV show playing his films and she has other plans.
96. Romance on the High Seas (1948)
Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Romantic misunderstandings abound when spouses suspect each other of being unfaithful, and a nightclub singer takes a cruise under a false identity.
97. The Tender Trap (1955)
Approved | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Charlie Reader is a successful theater agent. He is also successful with young ladies. One day he is visited by his old friend Joe, married with three children. Joe falls in love with ... See full summary »
98. Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Romance
A womanizing reporter for a sleazy tabloid magazine impersonates his hen-pecked neighbor in order to get an expose on renowned psychologist Helen Gurley Brown.
99. Third Finger, Left Hand (1940)
Passed | 96 min | Comedy
A single magazine editor pretends to be married in order to avoid advances from male colleagues, but complications ensue when she meets a potential suitor.
100. The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940)
Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Romance
A best-selling author of women's issues and a medical academic find it is to their mutual advantage to falsely claim that they are married.